Space Patrol in Boston
by Neil Nadelman
The 29th Annual Boston Sci-Fi Marathon concluded on Monday (16th february), and now RORIK has been seen by several hundred American SF fans. The only real disappointment was that the producer and composer had originaly wanted to visit and answer questions, but some work forced them to cancel at the last minute. I'm sad, since their question and answer session would have been one for the Marathon's history books! RORIK now has an official English title: Space Patrol - Back From the Future. I wish "Orion" had made it into the title, as there are Space Patrol TV series in the US and UK as well. Anyway, RORIK was shown at the end of our 24 hour film festival, meaning everyone who saw it had not slept in around 30 hours. I personally was afraid that the sight of the Galxyo dancing and the fish on the ceiling of the Starlight Casino would drive some of the audience to insanity, but perhaps sleep deprivation helps with watching this version
of Space Patrol. The audience's reaction seemed positive, although much of the enjoyment came from the campiness which this theatrical version played up. Any scene of dancing in the Starlight Casino was met with howls of laughter, and I think everyone will be talking about it for weeks to come.
(Not to mention the two who got up and started Galyxo dancing during the credits) The English subtitles were very well-written, so I was pleased
by how witty the writing was. McLane and the Orion crew must be the most dry-witted and sarcastic heroes in all of space! Still, the audience seemed to get into the story. As much as I like Space Patrol, I have to say that I found the editing or RORIK to be disappointing. It really doesn't stand on its own as a movie, so I have to view it more as a
synopsis of Space Patrol for people who had never seen it before. By those criteria, I found it enjoyable. You get to see a lot of the series' high points, including that great flaming planetoid from episode 2.
I'm a bit interested in why they felt they needed to explain calling the aliens FROGS by making up an acronym. They claimed it stood for Foreign Race Of Galactic Scoundrels.
This, too, brought about a lot of laughter. The final line that played after the credits, with Atan and Hasso from the end of episode 1, was the perfect quote to end 24 hours of science fiction viewing: "It was a nightmare, wasn't it? Worse! It was science-fiction!" The audience left the theater looking happy, and I hope to see their comments on the web site's forums ...
Some clips from the Sci-Fi Marathon forum:
SPACE PATROL - Wow, this was pretty awesome. Lots of really hilarious dancing, a great soundtrack, and the most dry, sarcastic starship captain and crew EVER. Also pretty good effects for the time, and I think that "It was a nightmare." "Worse-- it was SCIENCE FICTION!" should be our new motto.
SPACE PATROL - Cute. Borderline between recovered classic and funny schlock.
SPACE PATROL - Well, I'm biased, but I loved this and it was the highlight of the marathon for me. While at times it felt like it was edited with a cleaver, I viewed it more as a sampler of the original 7 episodes rather than as a proper movie. The set designs would have done Mario Bava proud, the stories were pure swaggering heroics, and the writing was snappy, sarcastic, and fun.
The Galyxo dancing was insane, and the enemies... Foreign Race of Galactic Scoundrels? Oh, I have to find out what the original German was, and fast!
Mike, we have to fan sub my DVDs at once! If only our German guests had made it to the marathon... The Q&A for this one would have been one for the history books! And the last bit after the credits rolled: "It was a nightmare,
wasn't it? Worse! It was science-fiction!" Garen, you have to license that bit of dialogue and make it our new motto!
SPACE PATROL - this was great. for 1966, it was remarkably progressive (women in command roles, for instance), too. a very fun end for the 'thon.
Both the official judges and the audience agreed that
Space Patrol was the best discovery of 2004. Perhaps this will be the start of the series finally building an American fandom:
Rediscovered Treasure - SPACE PATROL BACK FROM THE FUTURE
Best Discovery - SPACE PATROL BACK FROM THE FUTURE